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Poster: Jim F Date: Jun 30, 2010 2:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

It's funny how originally people played this music and it pissed off their parents, and now they are playing it to piss off their kids haha :P

I'm 31 with no kids, so for me the interesting thing has always been trying to find something that my mom doesn't find completely irritating.

To respond to the question about how Midnightcarousel's younger peers respond to the Dead, here are some of my own personal observations...

I recently had a discussion with an early 20's head who really loves 1989. His theory was that people who become Deadheads always have a real affinity or preference for whatever era they heard that first got them excited. For him it was 89. That might be true, for me it was the earlier years that I first heard, and which I prefer now.

Through the local cover band scene I've met quite my share of the younger deadheads out there today (though at 31 I consider myself a younger head, I was only 16 the last summer the Dead toured) who were very small children when Jerry died and the GD stopped touring. For them the cover band thing IS the Grateful Dead. They occasionally might see Ratdog or Phil and such, but 99% of their concert attendance comes in the way of DSO and other local tributes that play regularly here in St. Louis. Essentially their only option to get into it all through the live experience is through the cover bands.

The biggest GD tribute around here is The Schwag, who hold big festivals a couple times a year on 330 acres of property they own in Southern Mo (the lineup usually consists of other cover bands, rarely any of the better original acts out there today). They've been around over 15 years but are starting to gain some more popularity ever since Stu Allen became a fairly permanent member and their bass player has been touring with Melvin and JGB for the last year or so.

Anyway I have talked to and known hundreds of kids who only went down there because they heard it was a "free for all" and that they could score good pot/drugs down there. Some of them wouldn't even watch any of the bands. But usually most of them would go there for the "wrong" reasons, then end up hearing the GD music and liking it.

I personally turned a 16 year old onto these festivals years ago, he was more of a metalhead type who only went to score dope. Now in his early 20's the guy is one of the biggest Deadheads I've ever known with a true love and passion for the music.

Overall it seems that the majority of the younger heads that I've met don't initially come to the local tribute band shows/festivals because of the music. For a lot of them it is more about "the scene." Eventually some of them develop a real love for the music. But I would say the majority of them just come around for the party.

I was the opposite of how most people get into the Dead these days. I first heard live tapes long before I ever saw The Dead or any subsequent band (Ratdog, Phil, Other Ones, Furthur, etc), and became a diehard fan, musically. Before I'd ever even seen any sort of live show I already had quite a few live tapes and knew the reperoire pretty well. So I first went to shows knowing full well what I was getting into, to an extent. Nowdays, it seems that it isn't so much the music that draws people, it's the party.

I think what is happening today is probably pretty similar to 1987 when Dead shows began drawing a much broader type of concertgoer. I think a lot of kids get into it for the party, and over the course of things they meet some really cool and nice people, and generally have some sort of "epiphany" moment on some sort of psychedelic and they really start to "get" the music. I think that has probably been going on in GD land since the very beginning. It's pretty much inherent to the whole modern concept of what being a Deadhead is. Discovering that something is happening on a deeper level than just a rock show, bonding with like-minded people, etc.

We also have another popular GD tribute, Jake's Leg, who have been together over 30 years. Their fanbase tends to be the older, more relaxed, music-loving Head. They generally do not like the Schwag because of their notorious popularity among the younger, "wookieish" type of Deadhead. It's pretty polarizing. It's almost like the same arguments you hear between Phish and GD fans. That Phish brings out the younger, party way too hard, druggie, inconsiderate following (The Schwag), and that the Dead shows bring out the calmer, older, more music-loving person (Jake's Leg). I don't myself necessarily buy into that, I think both bands/scenes have their share of assholes, but for the sake of my argument...I won't even begin a debate about the observations many are making nowdays about the seemingly deteriorating quality of fans at shows. This is already off topic enough.

Actually now that I re-read what was asked, this doesn't really answer the question. The question was how a specific person's assumedly non-deadhead peers view the scene. Instead you got a rant about the local cover band scene in st louis. Sorry 'bout that :P

This post was modified by Jim F on 2010-06-30 09:01:40

This post was modified by Jim F on 2010-06-30 09:03:43

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jun 30, 2010 2:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

You are far to hard on yourself here . That was quite a bit of light , and little heat . The Futhur 6/26 thread below has some of my thoughts on this subject .

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jul 1, 2010 1:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

Well thank you. The other day a taper posted a little rant on Workingman's Tracker about his bad experience at a recent Phish show, where people literally began attacking the tapers with glow sticks, beach balls, beer bottles, etc. The poor guy had his mics knocked clean out of the stand and was so upset that he packed up, left early, and skipped the following night.

Anyway I shared his post on my Facebook page and began a lengthy rant on some of the reasons why I feel that many people are observing a bit of a deterioration in concert crowds these days, specifically in the "jam band" or Dead scene. I got some very insightful replies from some of my older friends who were at Dead shows starting as early as 1968, many of them have played in GD tribute bands themselves over the years. Of course one of them said it's been all downhill since Altamont lol. So the topic has been on my mind a lot lately and I've done quite a bit of thinking, debating, and writing about it.

I personally hooked up with one of those local GD tributes and was a die hard follower for some 10 years. For quite a spell I was their "archivist" of sorts, taped probably around 200 of their shows, kept their setlists for them, stuff like that. In the last year I had to step away from all of it, in part due to some differences between their new management and myself, and other reasons including my growing disillusion and dislike for what I felt was an increasingly younger and inconsiderate fanbase. Lack of musical interest was also a part of it. As "keepers of the flame" I have to respect them, and any tribute band, as well as the Furthur's and the Ratdog's and such for keeping the music alive for the younger generations. But I personally felt that they were lacking something creatively and decided I would rather spend more time and energy on original artists, while still maintaining my love for Grateful Dead music (though my last GD show of sorts was DSO back in February...if only Furthur would stop hating St. Louis, I'd go. We have been passed up on every Ratdog/Phil/Dead/Furthur tour for 2 or 3 years now).

In my die-hard years of attending their festivals, my ex-girlfriend was an employee who ran their medical unit, and I spent a lot of time around the psychedelic casualties that accompany such events. Most of what I saw was not pretty. Lots of kids who thought that it was all about going down to a place where you can do whatever you want and take as many drugs as possible, almost always obtained from people they did not know. Naturally this led to many people taking way too much of things that might not even have been what they thought they were taking.

Drug use and drug culture has long been an integral, though not necessary (I'm relatively "sober" myself, I do not smoke pot or take psychedelics anymore), part of the GD scene. But I think nowdays the drugs are different than the ones people took years ago. Things like ecstasy pills that are full of "research chemicals" and such. I also feel that the modern phenomenon of the "festival circuit" that has become a major part of the scene over the last 10 years or so has changed the concept of what it means to go to a concert. Before all of the modern festivals people would maybe just see a show around town, then go home when it was over. This didn't provide them with as much ease of overindulgence possible at a festival, which have massive drug availability, little security, and plenty of time to do your thing and recover and do it all over again the next day. I think that the people that went "on tour" back in the 80's and into the 90's were much more into the music. There was much more of a focus on the music itself, and the parking lot scene wasn't as much of a part of it. I personally feel that in GDland, there are 2 types of fans, music people, and parking lot people. I think we are seeing more and more "parking lot people" at shows nowdays.

I personally feel that the modern festival circuit has focused more on building the event around the parking lot scene, with the music being more of an afterthought for a lot of people. Many of the younger fans, I think, go to these events for "the wrong reasons." I think that this has caused younger fans to take on a mindset of the concerts and events being about pushing your body to it's limits with substances and the like, which I think has naturally led to an increase in erratic behavior at all concerts, both festival shows as well as the one-nighters.

I alluded to things having a sort of "1987" feel, where you have more people not necessarily coming around to festivals because of the music but more for the sideshow. This is all just my opinion of course, perhaps I'm just jaded now lol. I think what happened in 1987 was that as these kinds of people flooded the scene, they were sortof policed and educated by the elders and they eventually matured and learned more about proper behavior and such. They got "sucked in" and became Deadheads and sortof learned a proper protocol. I think that that still goes on today, I've seen it myself, but maybe perhaps there just aren't enough older, wiser heads around to set a good example for the younger generation. Maybe a lot of them just left the scene for whatever reason/s. I dunno, just some thoughts.

I hesitate to even get into this discussion on here, specifically regarding the aforementioned tribute band, as the band has some recordings on here (I would recommend them, actually, there is some decent stuff in there), and occasionally some of their fans access their recordings here. But I don't think any of them have any user names (aside from one friend of mine who uploads their more current concerts here) or read the forums at all. Eh who cares, I have my right to my opinions and thoughts on "the scene" at large. I'm not too worried about it...

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 1, 2010 2:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

It is slipping away , so someone is going to have to be dedicated to follow .
You nailed it in P # 7 . I was one of those touch heads . We ' elders ' need to step it up , now . We need to stop denigrating what these ' kids ' know , the post '95 spin-offs . However , always calling the shots as we see'um . That's part of the deal as well .
Of course , It's always too much . It always will be .
Gotta teach those lion cubs . They want to be taught . They will carry the light next

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 2, 2010 6:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

Interesting. This really deserves its own thread ... how things have or haven't changed, etc. I'm not in touch with the tribute/Phish-type scene, but had honestly hoped it did preserve more of the atmosphere.

There are things you can replace, and others you cannot ...

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 2, 2010 7:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

I am thinking of how to word it , but it's coming .

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jun 30, 2010 5:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

>It's funny how originally people played this music and it pissed off their parents, and now they are playing it to piss off their kids haha :P

Not only that, but years ago my parents told me it was too loud, turn it down, and now my son tells me it's too loud, turn it down.

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Poster: Jim F Date: Jul 1, 2010 1:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: kids and the Dead

^hahaha that's funny! Totally supports my theory.